Employee Benefits Are Complicated
How well do you know the employee benefits selection and annual benefits renewal process? Most people would say nothing, or close to nothing. Benefits renewal is a niche topic in a complex industry that the average person is unaware exists at all. Benefits selection isn’t simple either. Generally, it requires an intermediary, or broker, to decipher the legal jargon and complexities for the average employer.
For most insurance brokers, they rely on their experience to provide great advice. Their job is to be an expert on employee benefits. They skillfully advise their client to make the best choice for their company. When an employer has to select which benefits to include (and there are a LOT to choose from, on CloudAdvisors alone there are over 500 listings), which coverage levels to offer, and all to which company seniorities, a broker is an invaluable player.
So what’s the problem with annual renewal?
employee benefits information is hard to come by
We use experts in every field that we ourselves are not experts. Their job is to educate themselves and stay up to date on the latest news. In the case of insurance, to also provide the best advice to their clients, drawn from their own expert knowledge. Their job is to know, and to advise – meaning a key part of their job is obtaining access to information.
Unfortunately, the systems in place today just don’t cut it to provide Advisors the support they need. An industry weighed down by jargon, strict consumer laws, and a resistance to change makes communication difficult. Benefit advisors work hard to seek new product information, coverage levels available, and nuances between one EAP and another. Your advisor hopes that between each email, fax, and photocopy they receive trying to find you the best advice, they haven’t missed a vital piece of information their client (your company!) needs.
While your advisor works hard to be the best, most have to navigate decades-old technology to advise their clients. The current system just isn’t sustainable or scalable to support providers, advisors, and their clients in the annual benefits renewal process.
how annual benefits renewal impacts your company
When complete information is hard to find, the advisor and their client are put in an unfair decision making position. After all, how can we expect anyone to make the best decision or provide the best advice when the industry’s top technology is still email? In the process, Benefit Providers suffer too while their product information goes undiscovered.
While advisors do their due diligence in seeking out every informational booklet, brochure, and video link, there are over 150 benefit providers in Canada alone, each with highly differentiated, competing products. If you expect your advisor to analyze every product from every provider to provide you with their best unbiased advice all within a short time frame – that’s a tall order.
We expect advisors to gather every piece of information, run testing, and analyze the data for every client within a week. Scaling their business without additional support becomes an impossible task. Instead, clients and advisors meet once a year for a meeting called annual renewal.
Is Your Plan Outdated?
Often, annual renewal means your advisor does their best to update you on industry changes, and make suggestions to support your people within your budget. Unfortunately, annual renewal often results in re-signing the same decades-old contract that is chiefly responsible for your difficulty retaining new talent.
It probably is – about 30% of companies have an outdated or overpriced benefits plan, with 100% of these cases due to technology that works against your advisor and benefit providers. (Okay so we made up the 100%, but we’re probably close).
Ask yourself, when was the last time your advisor talked about your competitors’ benefit plans? When was the last time you added a new solution to your plan? What was your advisor’s rationale behind their suggested coverage levels? You probably spent a lot of time looking at excel sheets your advisor and their support staff put hours into.
It's Not your advisor's fault - it's the Technology
CloudAdvisors works with and for advisors, so believe us when we say, this lack of information? It’s not their fault. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, insurance is complex. It’s so complex, there’s no uniform or universal system for information to easily and transparently pass to the client.
Employers rely on advisors for advice, while advisors rely on providers for information. Everyone in the chain is doing their best to pass down information about their products, or the necessary advice about those products. With systems in place that make that process more difficult on everyone – where does that leave the employer trying to provide for their awesome employees?
The CloudAdvisors solution marketplace is a quick and easy way for advisors to find solutions for their clients.
How can you solve your annual benefits renewal cycle?
That was the problem CloudAdvisors was implemented to solve. We do the analysis and comparison so your advisor has time for each client – time to go above and beyond basic annual renewal.
Advisors need support in providing the best advice. After all, every expert has to receive their information somewhere. Since peer-reviewed articles on employee benefits aren’t widely available, a platform that accurately benchmarks over 12,000 organizations on-demand is a pretty close second. That’s why choosing an advisor with CloudAdvisors is your best bet – you gain access to world class information that doesn’t exist elsewhere.
So while we may be a little biased towards our advisors, they truly have the best advice. If you’re not on CloudAdvisors, we guarantee your benefits plan could be better.